Arriving in Ghana

Today I flew into Accra the capital of Ghana. The flight was long but luckily Tatiana and I got to sit together on the plane. She was also going to be volunteering with Compassionate Journeys (CJ’s) over the summer. We were greeted at the airport by Emmanuel which is the CJ’s ground coordinator and another one of the volunteers, Denver, she was also from FSU but was a part of the Global Peace Exchange program. We spent the night in a hostel in Accra and woke the next morning to begin our long journey to TafiAtome. We flagged down a taxi in which we packed all four of us plus our luggage into it and rode to the local trotro station. A trotro is basically a van type taxi. It fits around 14 people and usually does not have air conditioning. From the station we packed into the trotro along with other local people and began our 5 hour ride into the rural areas of Ghana. The roads were mostly paved but half way there we hit the dirt road part and it was bumpy from there on out. It was surprising at first how smooth the roads were and how reckless the drivers are. On the drive we passed through many villages. I saw mud huts, schools, and lots of children. At every place where we slowed down people would swarm the streets with buckets full of things on top of their heads trying to sell stuff to us. They come right up to our windows. At one point the driver of the trotro pulled over on the side of the dirt road in the middle of nowhere and stopped. I was in the front seat and he reached down and grabbed the toilet paper. Everyone in the back began to hop out as if this was normal. Coming from the “Westernized” world I was shocked but this is what they knew as their bathroom breaks. We arrived to another village and had to take another taxi into TafiAtome. The sign when we arrived said “Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary”. We drove through the main dirt road to the home we would be staying at and saw the other volunteers sitting all together. It was great to see familiar faces. I’m looking forward to see what all is in store for this summer.

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